Author Topic: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers  (Read 419 times)

Offline ssfc72

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Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:56:48 pm »
You might want to image your hard drive, for back up purposes, while the various OS companies deal with the above security issues.

The latest security alert is around the Meltdown and Spectre cpu code bugs.  The 2 bugs are a flaw in the software code of the core operation of a computer's cpu. The bugs affect most all computers, all OS's and phones etc, in the case of the Spectre bug.

Microsoft had began to issue a patch, in their Update's for the Meltdown bug but it was found to be affecting some AMD cpu computers and causing them not to boot.
Microsoft has stopped sending out any further Update's to their OS, with this bug patch.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/9/16867068/microsoft-meltdown-spectre-security-updates-amd-pcs-issues

Bill

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Offline buster

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 06:18:59 am »
Odd that you mention this. I happened to update my laptop image yesterday, and am getting 'stuff' off Marilyn's to update her computer's image this morning. I'll make sure hers boots before I do though.




Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 09:10:47 am »
Oh, the sheer irony, fix serious Intel bug and cause even bigger AMD bug. Programming is hard, folks! After studying it for a while, I'm surprised that our computers work as well as they do, honestly. Thanks for keeping us updated, Bill.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 12:54:36 pm by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline buster

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 09:40:54 pm »
Wrote my son who works at AMD but in the Radeon division, but not the cpu side.

I asked, 'Are the fixes that Microsoft and Linux distros are sending out to fix the problems in the cpu's,  just software fixes for the OS kernel and software interacting with the cpu, or will there be some 'firmware' fixes for the cpu itself that will be flashed somehow that will alter the function of the cpu ? If the chip gets changed, the recovery with a non-bootable computer seems pretty awkward. And scary.'

He answered, (and this isn't really much help to us), "I don't really know the answer, sorry. I suspect that Microsoft is just altering Windows code, and not CPU microcode, but who knows."

I assume that assumption is right, but my goodness, imagine if they 'fix' the chip and it goes wrong. Surely they wouldn't try to do that.



Offline dougal

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 12:09:38 am »

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 12:20:34 am »
I asked, 'Are the fixes that Microsoft and Linux distros are sending out to fix the problems in the cpu's,  just software fixes for the OS kernel and software interacting with the cpu, or will there be some 'firmware' fixes for the cpu itself that will be flashed somehow that will alter the function of the cpu ?

Both, apparently! Microcode fixes are in the works in addition to kernel updates that been just released (and more updates will be coming beyond those). See here for info on the Ubuntu updates already released and check out my post talking handling them as they relate to Linux Mint 18.3.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:43:24 am by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 12:25:13 am »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 03:11:36 am »
I read in one article, a mention that a BIOS update would be involved and that would have to come from the computer manufacturer, support process ( I assume the computer manufacturer, themselves, would have to get the the BIOS update from the BIOS chip manufacturer).

So hopefully, to those who have bought a motherboard, hopefully they bought a name brand motherboard, that may provide a BIOS update for these security issues.

Bill



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Offline buster

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 09:05:11 am »
Got this from a page linked to dougal's article:

 "The underlying vulnerability is primarily caused by CPU architecture design choices. Fully removing the vulnerability requires replacing vulnerable CPU hardware." Since then, CERT has changed this advice to: "Operating system, CPU microcode updates, and some application updates mitigate these attacks."

That kind of stuff scares me, especially with my older machine. It also says 'mitigates'. It doesn't say 'solves'. (I remember sweating through bios updates applied with floppies.)

The whole article comes from here, though it doesn't add a lot that we don't already know. And life as we know it will probably continue:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-the-meltdown-and-spectre-security-holes-fixes-will-affect-you/


Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Microsoft Update breaks some AMD cpu computers
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 05:11:26 pm »
Yeah, I mentioned that above, Buster. That's why I said "both". See my other post on the subject if you haven't checked it out yet. Mitigates here just means that they have to work around it since most people aren't going to replace their CPUs. I believe it does solve the issue (for now). But there will be lots of fallout from this in the future in terms of future updates and other issues they will find stemming the CPU flaw and potentially other flaws.

My other post also talks about how LM rates the impact of updates so you will know if an update could (though probably very rare) could cause an issue. Nobody says you *must* apply the update if you're worried about it. Other distros will probably just apply it though.
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